Whether you had one for 2011 or not, now is the perfect time to create a 2012 copyright preset, that will add your copyright information to your photos’ metadata automatically when you import them.

In the Import dialog, in the Apply During Import panel on the right, click on the drop down next to Metadata, and choose New…

lightroom-metadata-copyright-preset-import

Type a name for the preset at the top, scroll down to the IPTC Copyright section and fill it out.  To create the © symbol, use Option-G on the Mac, and if you have a numeric keypad on your keyboard on the PC, Alt-0-1-6-9.  (If not, copy and paste the symbol from this article.)   The Copyright Info URL field is used to provide a link to somewhere on your website where you have posted specific rights usage terms for your photos — which most of us have not done.

In the IPTC Creator section, add your name in the Creator field, and add as much contact information as you wish. Make sure that it is sufficient that someone can successfully contact you if they come across your photo.

lightroom-metadata-preset

When you are done, click Create. This preset will now show in the Apply During Import dialog as the default, and this information will be applied automatically as you import new photos.  (Cancel out of the Import dialog if you are not importing photos at this time.)

Note that the copyright information will not show up on your photos — it will tag along with your photos as data about your photos (metadata).  To see this data, in the Library module, select one photo, and in the Metadata panel on the right at the bottom, change the view to IPTC.  Creator information will show towards the top, and Copyright information towards the bottom (scroll down).

lightroom-metadata-panel-copyright

May you have many wonderful photos to copyright in 2012!